NCAA Preseason top 25 countdown: #5 Clemson Tigers
5. CLEMSON TIGERS
2016-2017 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
2016 record: 14-1 (7-1 in conference)
Pass yards per game: 333.9
Rush yards per game: 169.7
Points scored per game: 39.2
Points allowed per game: 18.4
The 2016 Clemson Tigers did it, they won the national championship over what was thought to be the best team in the Country, the Alabama Crimson Tide. The 35-31 win was direct revenge for the 40-45 loss they suffered at the hands of Bama the previous year. The had a 14-1 record in 2016, that only blemish was a 43-42 loss to Pitt in early November.
Coming into 2017 without the likes of QB DeShaun Watson, RB Wayne Gallman and WR Mike Williams, it will be tough for them to make it to a 3rd straight national championship game. These 3 players combined for 7,868 total yards and 78 total TDs last season, so to say they will be missed is a huge understatement.
Dabo Swinney has to get the QB position under control if he hopes to take this team back to the top of the mountain. Kelly Bryant has the inside track on the starting position but highly recruited freshman Hunter Johnson may have something to say about that. The Tigers defense was really good last year, only allowing 18.4 ppg. This year they will have to be better with the likes of Louisville and Florida State gunning for that ACC top spot.
Sat. Sept. 9th vs Auburn
Sat. Sept. 16th @ Louisville
Sat. Nov. 11th vs FSU